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Thomas Chippendale Master furniture maker

Updated on September 16, 2013

Thomas Chippendale

Contrary to popular belief I have not to date attempted to simulate a strip dancing troupe "Where in the heavens do you buy a good chair ! "progress it seems has been in most areas of human life.

you only have to take the memory and functions that are available on computers yet the ability of humans to keep producing basic things of quality such as a simple chair remains in doubt.


I have been on the look out for a good chair lately one that I could sit on in front of the computer and would not collapse after a few weeks of heavy use. Bur can one find one no. Most of the new ones I see are not up to the job. The design or standards of workmanship are just not there. Over 200 years ago people were able to make better chairs than they can now. As my introduction goes Chippendale would turn over in his grave ! at the standard of chairs that are made now.

these are chairs made over 200 years ago
these are chairs made over 200 years ago
A THomas Chippendale chair made over 200 years ago
A THomas Chippendale chair made over 200 years ago


Chippendale Chairs were made from hardwoods. The finest Chippendale style pieces were usually crafted from mahogany. Walnut, cherry and maple were used for less expensive furniture made in this style. They were carefully selected for knots and flaw straightness and age.

Thomas Chippendale Chippendale was a London Cabinet Maker and furniture designer in the mid-Georgian, English Rococo, and Neoclassical styles. In 1754 he published to publish a book of his designs, titled The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director. The designs are regarded as establishing the fashion for furniture for that period and were used by many other cabinet Maker's a journeyman cabinet maker in London, in 1754, he became the first cabinet-maker to publish a book of his designs, titled The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director. Three editions were published, the first in 1754, followed by a virtual reprint in 1755, and finally a revised and enlarged edition in 1762, by which time Chippendale's illustrated designs began to show signs of Neoclassicism.

Chippendale was much more than just a cabinet maker, he was an interior designer who advised on soft furnishings and even the colour a room should be painted. Chippendale often took on large-scale commissions from aristocratic clients. Twenty-six of these commissions have been identified Here furniture by Chippendale can still be identified, The locations include:

  • Blair Castle, Perthshire, for the Duke of Athol (1758);
  • Wilton, forHenry Duke & Earl of Penbroke (c 1759-1773);
  • Nostell Priory, Yorkshire, for SirRoland Winn, Bt (1766-85);
  • Mercham le Hatch, Kent, for Sir Edward Knatchbull, Bt (1767-79);
  • David Garrick both in town and at his villa at Hampton, Middlesex;
  • Normanton Park, Rutland and other houses for Sir Gilbert Heathcote Bt (1768-78) that included the management of a funeral for Lady Bridget Heathcote, 1772;
  • Harewood House, Yorkshire, for Edwin Lascelles (1767-78);
  • Newby Hall, Yorkshire, for William Weddell (c 1772-76);
  • Temple Sandstom, Yorkshire, for Lord Irwin (1774);
  • Paxton House, Berwickshire, Scotland, for Ninian Home (1774-91);
  • Burton Constable Hall, Yorkshire for William Constable (1768-79);
  • Petworth House, Sussex and other houses forGeorge Wyndham 3rd Earl of Egremont(1777-79).

Many Chippendale pieces have cabriole legs . American cabinetmakers from Newport, Rhode Island often used classically styled reeded or fluted legs as well. Furniture makers in Philadelphia slanted toward Rococo influence resulting in more elaborately carved legs. Some pieces, such as side chairs and small tables, have straight legs but other elements of Chippendale style are still present.


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    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      8 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you both for your great comments if only we could get chair Manufacturers to take more pride in their work !

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      8 years ago

      Barry, Barry, Barry!!

      And here I was all full of excited anticipation about you becoming a Chippendale dancer!! Sorry, I've lived in California way too long!!

      GREAT Hub!! Thanks for sharing!! Chippendale really does make great furniture!! And it is true that finding good chairs has become more difficult!!

      I have lovely chairs in my dining and living rooms; but at my desk, I use a balance ball!! Great for keeping core muscles strong without even thinking about it!!

      I am beginning to see definition in my abs again!! Hey, maybe I'll try out for the female version of Chippendale!!

      Blessings to you and yours!! Earth Angel!!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      8 years ago from India

      Yes, I have a problem finding a good chair today too.

      We have a few treasured Chippendale cabinets - and I agree with you - there's something about them that says workmanship of the highest order.


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